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Teens

Full Steam Ahead by Aardman Animations & ss Great Britain Trust

fullsteamahead

Full Steam Ahead is a game in which you design and build steam-powered ships in the spirit of Brunel. Gameplay is goal-focussed, with the player being tasked to create increasingly complex ship designs to meet ever more challenging criteria. The game gives the player the freedom to experiment, with ‘design tips’ orientating the player towards success. A simple currency system and strong art style round-off a very solid product.

Why we love it:

  • Game rewards experimentation.
  • Tip system scaffolds learning.
  • Strong art style.

Download for free now for iOS or Android or play it online

10 by iojoe

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10 is an addictive mash-up of Sudoku and a classic sliding block puzzler which will hone your mental arithmetic and problem solving proficiency. Slide number blocks together to create 10s, once a block becomes 10 it’s rendered immovable, encouraging you to plan your path to perfection. Initially simple it quickly descends into obsessive, head-scratching territory; your brain will thank you.

Why we love it:

  • Incredibly simple pick up and play mechanic.
  • Dozens of levels with an increasing variety of blocks.
  • Works your arithmetic and problem solving skills.

Get it on iOS (free) or buy it for Android

Wuzzit Trouble by Innertube Games

wuzzit

Set inside a trap-riddled castle, Wuzzit Trouble is an educational puzzle game which teaches mathematical conceptual thinking. Where other educational games use the gameplay as a mask to hide the learning, Wuzzit Trouble’s gameplay is the learning. The game introduces the idea of mathematical experimentation and encourages the idea of refining and improving your strategies for playing, all in the name of releasing the cute and fuzzy Wuzzits.

Why we love it:

  • Original gear-based mechanic.
  • Appealing characters.
  • Improves multiple skills- suitable for a variety of ages.

Buy it for iOS

Blackbar by Neven Mrgan

blackbar

Blackbar is an exercise in economy of development. It’s a text-based game which places word & logic puzzles within a dystopian future (or past) narrative to show the possible consequences of extreme censorship. Its barebones visual style detracts nothing from its message or gameplay, and the sense of satisfaction when you solve a particularly difficult puzzle is great.

Why we love it:

  • Strong story- equally humourous and chilling.
  • The puzzles are pretty challenging!
  • Multiple endings.

Buy it for iOS

Gone Home by The Fullbright Company

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Whilst Gone Home is presented as a traditional mystery with some light horror stylings, it’s actually [spoiler] an engaging and charming social commentary on the challenges faced by young people dealing with their sexuality. But there’s more to it than that – the way you empathise with the personal lives of your character’s parents, coming to realise they’re just people with their own hopes, dreams, ambitions and failings is all moulded into an enjoyable (if voyeuristic) game.

Why we love it:

  • Packs a healthy dose of 90s nostalgia!
  • Atmospheric, subtle and innovative storytelling.
  • Realistic, emotive sound design.

Download it for Mac, Windows & Linux

Time Explorer by GR/DD & The British Museum

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Time Explorer is an isometric flash game which allows you to travel back in time via The British Museum. The aim is to rescue precious artefacts, and in doing so find out more about them and the civilisations that created them. There are four levels, each taking you on a treasure hunt to ancient destinations across the globe.

Why we love it:

  • Cool isometric graphics.
  • Straightforward keyboard controls.
  • Aims young but is fun for all.

Play it online (free)

The Republia Times by Lucas Pope

newrepublic

The Republia Times is a flash game about running the content of a state-owned newspaper under the influence of an overbearing government. The challenge is to please your leaders while also printing balanced articles, and answering to desperate pleas from your rebellious fellow countrymen. Developed originally for the Ludum Dare challenge, the game is very basic, but clearly conveys a strong message about politics and the media.

Why we love it:

  • Immerses you straight in to the game challenge.
  • A powerful message about usage of the media as a tool.
  • Lo-fi aesthetic allows the content to shine through.

Play it online (free)

Way by Coco & Co

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Way is a free downloadable co-operative 2-player game which, like other games in its genre (Portal 2, Spelunky, Ilomilo etc.), is all about cooperation and communication. The puzzles are simple, but the feeling of achievement is high as you work your way through the game with your anonymous partner. There are moments that you will have to be your partner’s eyes and communicate only through gesture, so here’s a word of warning – you’ll be screaming at the screen!

Why we love it:

  • Simple controls make it suitable for all.
  • Encourages trust and connection through teamwork.
  • A deeply ‘human’ experience.

Download it free for Mac or Windows

Nom Nation by Playerthree & Channel 4

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Nom Nation is a retro platformer in which you learn about nutrition. You play as Chef, whose mission is to defeat an evil fast food peddling clown, and return the Holy Book to the Noms. By eating different noms you get different powers, protein gives you super punches, sugar and caffeine give you speed, fat makes you, well, fat. But muncher beware, foods can have lethal long term effects too…

Why we love it:

  • It’s funny and irreverent.
  • Great chiptune soundtrack.
  • Teaches healthy eating without being worthy.

Play it online or on iOS (both free)

Oiligarchy by Molleindustria

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Oiligarchy is a satirical browser based strategy game in which you play the head of a global oil company; drilling, exploring, hiring mercenaries and manipulating governments to make money. Your decisions create reactions around the world, but there is no way to play this game that doesn’t reflect the unpleasantness of the industry and the international wealth that is bound to it. Oiligarchy makes a complex subject accessible, and its message is politically and environmentally resonant.

Why we love it:

  • Complex gameplay with a dark humour.
  • Illustrates interconnections of global events.
  • Features a plausible near-future in a bold political statement.

Play it online (free)